Chicago Foreclosure Quilt

I finished the Chicago Foreclosure Quilt last month and have finally been able to find the time to update this long neglected blog! More on that in the next post. The quilt is currently hanging at Gallery Nord in San Antonio. I wanted to make a quilt of Chicago at some point but I was having a hard time pinpointing a particular neighborhood as foreclosures were widespread across the city. One afternoon, while listening to This American Life on NPR, I heard a two part story on Harper High School in Chicago which is located in the Englewood neighborhood. 

Chicago Foreclosure Quilt, 2013
It was a gripping story. There had been 29 shootings at the school in 2012. The students talk about how unsafe the neighborhood feels, with abandoned buildings and empty lots. They have to navigate the neighborhood in unusual ways in order to feel safe. Gangs were in charge of the neighborhood, using it's vulnerability to their advantage.

Chicago Foreclosure Quilt detail, 2013
RIght in the center of the quilt, shown in light blue above, is the block of the high school.

Chicago Foreclosure Quilt detail, 2013
I'm not sure how I want this quilt presented but I know if the quilt sells, I'd like to give the money back to the community somehow. In the meantime, you can listen to the entire podcast here.


Lisa Solomon said...

i was totally gripped by those shows....
love the quilt...

Lari Washburn said...

Beautiful quilt Kathryn. Chicago is a city full of stories. Some sad, and some so full of life. I just heard about the work of Chicago street photographer Vivian Maier and was so inspired by her story. I loved living in Chicago, a town rich in history.

Katrina said...

gorgeous quilt. and what an homage you've created here too. i love that this quilt is somehow for those kids. sigh.


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